Robbie Gould said Bears players are concerned about the possible dangers of playing Monday night's game against the Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium but are prepared to do so.
"Everyone has [voiced concerns]," said the Bears' kicker, who is also the team's union representative. "I know that Minnesota players have done so. We've been in contact with the NFLPA. The biggest concern that players have is that we want to make sure the surface is not going to create more risk than there already is in the game, especially with the NFL right now being in such a forefront for player safety. So the biggest concern is the playing conditions of the field and obviously playing on a frozen field will create a little more risk for players. I think the NFL, the NFLPA and the Bears and the Vikings as organizations will make an educated and responsible decision as far as making sure players don't get put in a potential for advanced or more risk, because I don't think the game deserves to put players in that kind of environment. I know there's a lot of people up there from our organization, the PA and the NFL, and something will get done and in a timely manner."
Bears safety Chris Harris took his opinion to his Twitter account, and he didn't back down at Halas Hall.
''If you're going to preach player safety, you would think they would put you in the best conditions to be safe. I don't think an icy field is the best conditions,'' Harris said.
"At the end of the day, you have to be safe," he said. "With the NFL cracking down on player safety, fining people $50,000, $75,000 for hits because they want the game to be safter, I don't think it's very safe to play on a frozen field.
''It's kind of like going outside and me trying to run in cleats and cut on a parking lot. You want to talk about player safety -- Aaron Rodgers got a concussion inside a dome. Imagine a quarterback going down and hitting his head on that surface [at Minnesota], what it would do.''
Bears cornerback Charles Tillman also expressed concerns, though not quite as vehemently as Harris.
''If the field's froze, who the hell wants to play on that?,'' Tillman said. ''I'd much rather play in Minnesota. I'd much rather play in the Metrodome. But it's an unfortunate accident that happened. With that being said, icy field ... this is a year we're cracking-down on player safety, concussions and stuff. You want to fine guys $75,000, but we're going to play on a frozen field? It doesn't make sense to me.
Tillman, though, said he will trust the NFL's judgment on whether the field is playable.
''If it passes the NFL's inspection, nothing to complain about,'' he said. ''But if not, I don't think it's smart for the Minnesota players or for us.''
But Harris was a little more leery. Asked if he trusted the NFL's judgment on the issue, he laughed derisively and said, ''No comment.''
''You don't have a choice. They tell you what to do in the NFL. It's pretty much a dictatorship,'' Harris said earlier. ''It's sad, but that's the way it goes. We don't have a voice as far as what we feel is safe. It's unfortunate.''
NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello said via e-mail that the plan is to play Monday night's Bears-Vikings game at TCF Bank Stadium, which is where the University of Minnesota's football team plays. The NFL's senior vice president of public relations said the league is working closely with both teams as preparations continue.
"There's no protest," Gould said. "There will be no protest. The bottom line is that as players we want to make sure it's a safe environment to play on. As long as the field is safe and conditions are safe, the show must go on."
Unlike most cold-weather NFL stadiums such as Soldier Field, TCF Bank Stadium was not built as a cold-weather site and does not have heating coils beneath the playing surface, which could contributed to the artificial surface being frozen solid, or at least that is a concern for players.
With state-of-the-art domed facilities in Detroit and Indianapolis, Gould said players just want to make sure league officials examine all their options. He's confident that's happening.
"Players don't want to play on a facility that's frozen," he said. "Obviously those conditions are going to create more risk of injury and obviously players don't want to be put in that sort of situation, given that there's so many fines for head-to-head tackles.
"Plus, think about it: Aaron Rodgers got a concussion in Detroit, in a dome, and that's the softest of dome facilities. You go outdoors to a frozen field and the risk of injury is going to be a lot greater."